THE statement "There are no friends in politics, only allies", rings true for Nomvula Mokonyane and Paul Mashatile.
They have worked together for a long time in the Gauteng legislature. Now the allies are foes.
During the last ANC Gauteng provincial elections the allies stood against Angie Motshekga, who lost the chairmanship to Mashatile. This time Mashatile and Motshekga are ganging up on Mokonyane.
The battle lines are drawn . There is a smear campaign against Mokonyane and the media is being used to hang her dirty linen in public.
Are there no skeletons in Mashatile's closet?
Mokonyane is said to be unpopular in Gauteng, including on the West Rand where she comes from.
ANC members say it is a foregone conclusion that Mashatile will be re-elected. So the elective conference is just a formality.
It appears the ruling party has no problem appointing women premiers. The only snag is that it mostly appoints unpopular women who don't inspire confidence - no offence intended.
The Eastern Cape premier is a classical example.
That said, the ANC seems to have a problem electing women to lead provinces. Gauteng has never had a woman leader. The challenge extends to other provinces as well.
It seems the next elective conference will not change the status quo. Does this mean the ANC pays lip service to gender equity? If not, why are provinces led my men? The ANC should practice what it preaches.
The ANC Women's League's silence on the matter is deafening. They are failing women.
Thabile Mange, Kagiso